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Postdoctoral Fellows

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Sian Tsuei (he/him)

Simon Fraser University

Michael Smith Health Research BC Research Trainee Award Post-doctoral Fellow

Supervisor: Lindsay Hedden

Research Interests: Health system changes, telemedicine, artificial intelligence, payment reform, global health

Research Methods: Econometrics and qualitative research

Additional Expertise: Family medicine

Sian is a practising family physician in both BC and Northwest Territories. After completing his family medicine residency at UBC, he completed Population Sciences PhD at Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health. He specializes in global health systems research, and his research leverages and develops organizational behaviour theories. Sian’s research focuses on understanding how health systems change in the face of shocks. He is specifically interested in health policy shocks (e.g. payment and care integration reforms) and technological shocks (i.e, telemedicine and artificial intelligence).

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François Gallant (he/him)

Dalhousie University & Vitalité Health Network

Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow


Supervisor: Ruth Lavergne

Research Interests: Primary care, administrative data, advanced statistical analysis 


Research Methods: Longitudinal observational studies, Quantitative analysis 

Additional Expertise: Rocks, roots, berms; pizza

François is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Dalhousie Family Medicine and Vitalité Health Network. He is interested empirical methods and the creative use of observational data to contribute to the evidence base. Generally, François hopes to address research questions that will facilitate the empowerment of individuals, families, and communities to take charge of their own health.

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Diedron Lewis

University of Toronto

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, OHT Impact Fellowship


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Health economics, Policy evaluation


Research Methods: Quantitative; Econometrics/biostatistics; Economic Evaluation

Additional Expertise: Tennis

Dr. Lewis is a health economist with training in public health sciences. He previously held academic positions (Lecturer/Instructor) at several tertiary level institutions including the University of Waterloo, the University of New Brunswick and more recently, the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Presently, he is the Impact Fellow at the Connected Care Halton Ontario Health Team and is responsible for assisting the OHT with evaluating health programs including remote care management, palliative care, and mental health and addiction. His research has mainly focused on the migration of Caribbean nurses to North America, the impact of population health on economic outcomes, the impact of travel-related illnesses on tourism-based economies, and the cost-effectiveness of implementing a multi-cancer early detection test in Ontario, Canada. Diedron is currently supervising three post-graduate students; one at the Master’s level and the others at the PhD level. His supervision style is collaborative.

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PhD Students

Ali Coates (she/her)

University of Ottawa

PhD, Management, Health Systems

Supervisors: Agnes Grudniewicz & Tracey O’Sullivan

Research Interests: Rural health, health workforce, structural urbanism, health care access

Research Methods: Qualitative, critical methods, discourse analysis, knowledge synthesis

Additional Expertise: Hivernophile: expert in winter appreciation and recreational winter sports. Mom to luge and equestrian sport athletes. “My kids are living their best life and I am their ride”

Ali Coates is a PhD student in Management, in the Health Systems specialization. Her work focuses on structural urbanism in rural health. She is a recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program Doctoral Scholarship (CGS-D) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Ali holds a BSc (Honours) degree from Mount Allison University, a MBA in Healthcare Management and a MS in Healthcare Data Analytics from Clarkson University and has held a variety of healthcare leadership roles during her career. Ali began working in the field of clinical research and eventually led the founding and early growth phases of a successful imaging core laboratory. Following a family move to the rural North Country region of New York, Ali led the establishment of a new clinical research program within St. Lawrence Health System. She was the Assistant Vice President of Physician Relations at Adirondack Health before being accepted to Telfer School of Management. While completing her MBA and MS degrees, Ali chose to focus on the rural context to understand how core management principles apply in rural health systems. Ali was a 2022 National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Rural Health Fellow. She maintains an active leadership role at the New York State Association for Rural Health.


Julie Vizza (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

Doctor of Philosophy, Health Sciences


Supervisors: David Rudoler & Agnes Grudniewicz

Research Interests: Patient experience, patient empowerment, patient self-management

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Patient advocacy, reading, travelling, cooking, and generally, trying new things

Julie Vizza is a PhD candidate at Ontario Tech University (formally the University of Ontario Institute of Technology). Julie holds a joint Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology from Trent University and Master’s degree in Health Science from Ontario Tech University. Julie’s general research interests surround using the experience and expertise of patients to improve the delivery of care across various levels of the health care system. Under the co-supervision of Dr. David Rudoler (Ontario Tech University) and Dr. Agnes Grudniewicz (University of Ottawa), her current dissertation research explores medication management experiences among older adults with multiple chronic conditions and, within team-based care settings. Julie’s own lived experience as an individual with complex care needs, has strengthened her conviction that the perspectives of patients, as well as, collaboration with and among providers are fundamental in establishing and delivering optimal person-centred care.

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Reem Gaafar (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

PhD - Community, Public and Population Health 


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Health policy, delayed discharge in mental health patients, supportive housing, social determinants of health

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Creative writing, filmmaking, graphic designing

Reem is a public health physician, researcher, writer and knowledge translator with over 15 years of experience in the MENA region. She completed a MPH from the University of Liverpool and has consulted for several health promotion campaigns as well as government and non-government entities, including WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, GHD/EMPHNET and the Government of Sudan. Her writing has been featured in African Feminism, Teakisi Magazine, African Arguments, International Health Policies, Health Systems Global and in two anthologies. She also assists researchers writing in English as a second language to get published. In 2020 Reem was shortlisted for the Miles Moreland Foundation Writing Scholarship for African writers. For her Master's and PhD Reem will be working on solutions for delayed discharge in mental health patients and exploring their lived experience transitioning into and living in supportive housing.

Ellie Gooderham (she/her)

Simon Fraser University

PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences

Supervisors: Lindsay Hedden

Research Interests: Health equity, marginalised populations, chronically ill and complex care patients, administrative data

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Cooking, travelling, EDI, cycling

Ellie is an PhD student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. With her background in biological anthropology, Ellie has an interest in studying health from a variety of data sources and she is looking forward to building skills in mixed methods and qualitative research. Her lived experiences of having an invisible disability has shaped both her research interests as well as being involved with EDI in professional and personal settings.

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Michèle Langlois​ (she/her)

Saint Paul University

Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues

Supervisors: Agnes Grudniewicz

Research InterestsPrevention, education, early identification, care coordination and 

integration over the lifespan, mental health, substance use health and addictions, end of life care, health equity, virtual care, client and family experiences of care, client and family self-management and empowerment, engagement of client and family expertise in co-design of care

Research Methods: Qualitative, knowledge synthesis

Additional Expertise: Homesteading, caring for chickens, muscovy ducks, and Bouvier des  Flandres dogs

Passionate about making evidenced-based, plain language, culturally relevant resources (psycho-education, skill building and peer support) and community services/supports accessible to clients, families, and community workers for prevention, early identification and care for mental health, substance use health and addictions issues. Passionate about engaging families in care, where appropriate, as well as for providing front line clinical staff with the information and resources they need to connect clients and their families to care and community services. Member of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal) Research Council Co-Chair (family perspective) of the Client- and Family-Oriented Research working group of The Royal Research Council Member of the Academic Committee of the Royal Research Council Co-Chair, Client and Family Advisory Council, AccessMHA, Eastern Ontario Region Member of the AccessMHA Oversight Committee, Eastern Ontario Region President, Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD), offering a 12-week program for families of loved ones with difficulty regulating their emotions. Draw upon decades (too many to admit :) ) years’ experience as an Executive and Executive Advisor to public sector and mental health organisations in the areas of Service and Business Innovation, with specific expertise in Visioning, Strategy and Planning, Program and Project Management, and Change Leadership. Lived expertise as family member / primary care partner accompanying loved ones on their recovery from mental health, substance use health and addictions issues, as well as end of life journeys.

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Joel Dissanayake

University of Toronto

PhD - Health Systems Research


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Mental health, primary care, physician remuneration.

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Weight lifting, rugby, instruments, spending time with his dog Duke.

Joel is a doctoral student in the Health Systems Research stream at the University of Toronto. Before starting at the University of Toronto, Joel completed his BSc at the University of Guelph and his MHSc at Ontario Tech University. For his masters thesis, Joel conducted a scoping review to identify the barriers and facilitators of implementing suicide risk assessments in emergency departments and inpatient facilities. Joel currently works part time as a Research Analyst in the Schizophrenia Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In addition to that, he is working on a research project with Ageing with Dignity Research Centre at Ontario Tech University. The focus of his PhD dissertation will be tailored towards financial incentives for community-based psychiatrists in Ontario.

MSc Students

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Hannah Wotherspoon (she/her) 

University of Ottawa

MSc - Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz,

Manoj Lalu

Research Interests: Public Health, preclinical to clinical translation, patient engagement, knowledge translation

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Figure skating, skiing, travelling 

Hannah is a Master of Science student in health systems at the University of Ottawa. Prior to starting her graduate studies, she completed her Bachelors of Science Honours degree with a minor in neuroscience from the University of Guelph. She has an interest in translational research, public health, and patient engagement.

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Eric Poarch (he/him)

Dalhousie University

MSc - Community Health and Epidemiology


Supervisor: Ruth Lavergne

Research Interests: Substance use, health equity, harm reduction, social determinants of health

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional ExpertiseSkiing, cooking, surfing (swimming with board in hand)

After graduating from UVic with a BSc in Chemistry for the Medical Sciences, Eric has worked in healthcare for the Red Cross as an Emergency Care Worker, as an Ophthalmic Technician, and as a Drug Analyst and Research Assistant for the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR). Eric contributed to the Substance UVic pilot project providing harm reduction supplies and analyzing illicit drug samples; using paper spray mass spectrometry along with raman and infrared spectroscopy to provide results to service users. With other researchers at Substance, he produces weekly and monthly reports, blog posts, drug education materials, and research summaries covering their research on the illicit drug supply. By pursuing a MSc in Community Health and Epidemiology, he hopes to expand on this work using quantitative research to explore inequities accessing care for mental illness and people who use drugs.


Husayn Jessa (he/him)

University of Toronto

MSc in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Concentration: Health Services Research)


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Mental health services, primary care, equity, diversity

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Soccer, weight lifting, reading

Husayn will be attending the University of Toronto in the Fall of 2022 to begin his MSc in Health Services Research with an emphasis in Health Economics. He completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University where he was awarded an Alumni Gold Medal. Husayn’s research interests include supporting individuals with mental illness, equity in care, and the overall improvement of health systems and health care.

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Catherine Kadamani

University of Ottawa

MSc - Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz, Jennifer Dimoff

Research Interests: Leadership and management, patient safety, employee well-being, understanding and developing organizational culture, mental health

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Speaking Arabic, baking, drawing, and scrapbooking

Catherine is a Master of Science student in Health Systems at the University of Ottawa. Prior to her graduate studies, she completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree with a minor in Management from the University of Ottawa. She is extremely keen on research topics that aim to find new and innovative ways to deliver comprehensive care to patients and/or quality service to customers by way of improving leadership styles, optimizing human resource planning, understanding organizational culture, and focusing on employee mental health and wellbeing.

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Sarah Munoz-Violant 

Simon Fraser University

MSc - Health Sciences


Supervisor: Lindsay Hedden

Research Interests: Health equity, digital health, substance use treatment, concurrent disorders.

Research Methods: Mixed methods

Additional Expertise: Skiing!

Sarah completed a BA in Psychology at UBC and has since led various research projects in the areas of digital health, health psychology, and neuroscience. See her publications here. She is currently coordinating the Strategic Innovation Fund Red Fish Virtual/Digital Innovation Hub, for which she designed three pilot studies integrating the use of pioneering technologies into the treatment of clients experiencing complex co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder (SUDs). Sarah previously led the SASRAR project (Sexual Abuse and Sleep and Rest/Activity Rhythms in individuals undergoing inpatient treatment for co-occurring mental illness and SUDs). She also works as a front-line worker in the Downtown Eastside at WISH Drop-in Centre Society, a space providing services to female and gender-diverse street-based sex trade workers. Email her at or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Rachel Thelen (she/her)

University of Ottawa

MSc Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz

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Stephanie Littleford (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

MHSc - Community, Public and Population Health


Supervisor: David Rudoler

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Sameh Hashem

University of Toronto - Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation

MSc Health Services Research - Health Economics


Supervisor: David Rudoler

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Marc Albert 

University of Ottawa

MSc - Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz & Manoj Lalu

Lucie Péléja (she/her)

University of Ottawa

MSc in Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz & Tracey O'Sullivan

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Aidan Bodner (he/him)

University of Toronto

Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Concentration: Health Services Research)


Supervisors: Sara Allin & David Rudoler

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Tai Hollingbery (they/them)

Ontario Tech University

Masters of Health Science


Supervisor: David Rudoler


Nabiha Tariq Paracha (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

MHSc - Community, Public and Population Health


Supervisor: David Rudoler

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Margaret Jamieson (she/her)

University of Toronto

PhD Health Services Research - Health Economics


Supervisors: David Rudoler & Audrey Laporte

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